Amazon's New CloudSearch Gives Sites Scalable Search


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Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced Amazon CloudSearch, a service providing customers with "a fast, fully managed, and highly scalable search functionality" for web applications. Instead of managing and operating their own search engine functionality, customers can use CloudSearch to automate it. Customers simply create a search domain, upload data, and Amazon's service takes over and deploys "highly tuned search indexes."

AWS states that the technology, based in the cloud, is fully scalable. Based on the amount of searchable data and changes to the query rate, CloudSearch will automatically scale. Business can even change search parameters, fine tune search relevance, and apply new settings without re-uploading data.

"For many organizations, search plays a major role in how their customers experience their product or service - businesses need a sophisticated search capability to help their customers find the right information quickly. Implementing rich search functionality has traditionally been very expensive and time consuming due to the complexity of the technology required," said Adam Selipsky, Vice President of Amazon Web Services. "Amazon CloudSearch frees customers from worrying about all of these complexities so they can easily launch powerful search functionality and pay only for the resources they use."

CloudSearch will use the same A9 technology that powers's search capabilities. This means customers will have access to high throughput and low latency search for their sites using Amazon's robust infrastructure. Using CloudSearch should be relatively simple, as AWS claims the service automatically detects and recommends the ideal search fields from a sample data set. Managing and customizing the settings will be done using the AWS Management Console. CloudSearch also has a complete set of API's for web developers to put to good use.

On the Amazon Web Services blog Jeff Barr, a "Web Services Evangelist," outlined the CloudSearch pricing model. Customers will be billed based on the number of running search instances. There are three search instance size tiers: $0.12 per hour, $0.48 per hour, $0.68 per hour. There is a "modest charge" for each batch of data uploaded and if you need to re-index your data it will cost you $0.98 per Gigabyte.

Those interested in implementing CloudSearch into their applications can get started over at Amazon Web Services' CloudSearch page, which details the service at length.